Herald Sun disgrace over East West Link coverage

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Extract from Mayne Report, City of Melbourne Cr Stephen Mayne, 15 September 2014.

Herald Sun disgrace over East West Link coverage

The Herald Sun has been an embarrassment to journalism with its partisan distortions over the past few days.

I’m no great fan of Victorian Labor leader Daniel Andrews but he is completely within his rights to say Labor will not support the completion of the East West Link if it wins the November 29 election, even if the Napthine government rushes to sign a $6 billion contract with a Lend Lease led consortium shortly before it goes into caretaker mode next month.

The key point here is that, just like with Julia Gillard’s carbon tax, the Napthine government has no mandate to sign up taxpayers for the most expensive road contract ever let by an Australian state.

The Liberals went to the 2010 Victorian election promising not to build this project. Instead, there was all this talk about Doncaster rail.

Now that Labor has made its position absolutely clear, the Herald Sun should be calling for the Napthine government to “let the people decide” rather than rushing into a dubious unsupported contract which potentially triggers large compensation payments if the government falls.

There is no contract signed today and that should also be the case when Victorians go to the polls on November 29.

City of Melbourne may very well formally adopt such a position at the forthcoming September council meeting, although internal discussions on this point won’t kick off in earnest until tomorrow.

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